It All Started So Well


Vital 1st Team Regular
We started yesterday on the front foot and everyone, with a couple of exceptions were well up for it. Winning most tackles, most passes coming off, pressuring them and dominating. The goal was well taken from a great corner (how many times have we been able to say that this last year or so?). The goal had been coming. Just as their crowd were getting restless they scored a cracker. We gave him too much space and time but didn't he hit it well?
From then on it became another shambles. Their second goal was probably the easiest he'll ever score as the defence went to sleep then they hit us on the break time and again as we searched in vain for a comeback. To be fair, it could have been a lot more. A lot more. Bentley made a couple of brilliant one on one stops when they should have scored.
But once again we showed lacking in certain areas. Up front. Our striker did sweet FA again. The new bloke did nothing except prove the report I'd heard about "lots of pace but no end product" and he was subbed just after half time. Nice to see Sergi come on and give it a go at least.
The defence overall, strange as it will seem, seemed to put in a good shift to me. But they can't afford to go to sleep as they did for the first two goals.
Overall, we saw both Brentford's yesterday, the good footballing one that can play a bit, and I really thought when we scored we'd go on an win quite well. Then we saw the appalling one that falls apart. Preston deserved that win, and as I say, it could have been more.

Then add to the mix we have just given a year's extension to the genius who thought Sawyers and KK would come on and get us back into it. That either shows someone is grasping at straws or just how shallow the depth of our squad is. Maybe a bit of both.


Vital Reserves Team
First goal was a great shot but it was poor defending from the midfield as they just let him run at us, schoolboy stuff I thought. Second goal was the killer, a soft one and we never recovered.

We looked good going forward but as a team that was as bad a defensive performance as I have seen all season. Jota tried hard but couldn't win us the game on his own. I thought the new Dutch guy put in a lot of effort but overall was very ineffective and looks low on confidence. One bright spot was Canos who must start next game. He looked lively, quick feet and positive.

What a dreadful season for long NW trips, that is dire performances at Wigan, Blackburn and Preston I've seen.

The way this team plays we will probably beat Reading but I will be happy just to get to 50 points or so.


Vital 1st Team Regular
Mini revival over, bump! Wasn't there but can see from the goals that their players had freedom to run through on goal at will. There lies the problem really, the central midfield is non existent on an off day, we have too many. Can't help thinking the DoF's not sorting this and a getting a new forward will bite us hard. Many amongst us feel we're a mid table side building for next year, personally I'm worried, 2 really hard games to come - will we get anything from these, where will be by the time Rotherham come to GP? Was it wise to extend the deal of a coach who can't put a reasonably consistent side on the pitch, who don't crumble at every northern outpost? Do we have the players, or is the coach coming up short? So many questions - personally I feel we're better than the results, notwithstanding the areas in the side that can be improved. Smith has been able to pull out a big result in adversity, well he needs one now.

Not impressed, a pity after the positivity of last week & the return of Jota & Sergi.


Vital 1st Team Regular
We are a very Jekyll and Hyde team. I didnt go but I know people who did and a Preston fan who thought we were very much the better team, certainly until their second went in.

Harlee seemed frustrated in an interview and said that we basically just opened up and went for an equaliser and it all fell apart.

We badly need a holding midfielder but we know this, as do the club. I think it will be addressed in the summer.

Vibe looks good enough when we are dominating teams and pulling them around, he offers little in games like this when we need the ball to stick up top for a bit while we regroup

I think it will be a bit like this for the rest of the season tbh, good games and bad games jumbled up. When we are good, we are very very good, but when we are bad we are awful. As the saying goes.


Vital Squad Member
Agreed, the holding midfielder is vital but we have to accept that means we need to lose someone currently in there. One of Woods, MacEachran and Yennaris of the current three would need to go if we want to carry on the exciting wing play with Jota and Canos/Jozefzoon. Yennaris looked great at the top of that midfield against Villa, and we'll need someone to link the midfield with the top three. I'm not sure Woods or MacEachran are ideal in that position. Perhaps Sawyers is [puts on tin hat and runs for cover!] or MacLeod.

Once you bring in that defensive midfielder you realise we are fairly well covered everywhere else in midfield. We do need another striker [or two] even with Vibe still around. And, I believe, another keeper. I've never been convinced by Bonham, even if the club do rate him.


Vital 1st Team Regular
I think when Mcleod comes back we will have a much more solid mid field and like you say, one that can link up with the front men. No need to run from me, Sawyers has shown he can do that job but sadly isn't consistent enough.

I wouldn't advocate getting rid of Vibe, he has his days, and as Condor says when we dominate he is good, but he's not a take the game by the scruff of the neck player when the going is hard. He'd be a decent back up for better strikers...